The Traditions of Wai Khru
The following heading will present you with an in-
For anyone wishing to really understand the central concepts of Muay Thai, knowledge of at least some of the martial art’s unique and rich traditions is an absolute necessity. In fact, for those who are intent on becoming professional fighters or trainers, more than knowledge alone, the precepts and ethics involved have to be come an integral part of their daily lives. Although these traditions are undoubtedly “devout” and imbued with a spirit of religiosity, they are nevertheless independent of any specific creed and therefore are very much accessible to all.
The Concept of Wai Khru (Wai Khru)
One of the most important traditions of Muay Thai is Wai Khru (Paying Respect to Teachers) and the philosophy, which it encapsulates. Wai Khru is an ancient custom, which is closely bound to the fundamental Thai concept that providers of knowledge are all khru –
During their long apprenticeship, young fighters will experience many times the second type of Wai Khru ritual, the Annual Homage-
After training has been underway for some time, they will be sent to take part in a contest, preceded by a performance of the Ritual Dance of Homage as a public declaration of their allegiance to their teacher. It is only when fighters have passed all these three milestones (i.e. initiation, training and participation in contests) that they are entitled to regard themselves as real Muay Thai fighters.
Whether or not fighters can advance to the rank of teacher themselves is a decision, which lies in the hands of their own teacher…and the process can take a considerable time. The fighters must first have taken part in numerous contests, proved themselves to have advanced practical skills and have done the equivalent of “teacher training” in both Muay Thai theory and practice, as well as having the right attitude and character. In addition, age plays a part because in Oriental cultures, age and wisdom advance hand in hand. Generally speaking, thirty and over is considered a suitable age for being elevated to the position of khru Muay.
It is only when fighters have satisfied their teacher on all these counts that they can participate in the fourth Wai Khru ritual, the Initiation as a Teacher Ceremony, which bestows on them the rank of khru Muay and which once again involves a performance of the Ritual Dance of Homage.
For all forms of the Wai Khru rituals except the Ritual Dance of Homage, fighters have a choice of position while they are paying homage. They can:
a. Kneel sitting back on their heels b. Half-
The important factor is that the fighters’ heads must be lower than that of their teacher, symbolizing their lower status and respect.